50 text terms and acronyms every parent should know

The way people communicate online is ever-evolving, with new words, abbreviations and trends popping up all the time. It can be difficult to stay up to date, especially if you’re a parent of a very tech-savvy teenager.

Last updated: 10th Nov 2020 at 9:32am

Have you found yourself questioning what they mean in messages or conversation? Are you struggling to decipher their acronyms and other millennial-speak? Never fear - we’ve put together a helpful list of 50 text terms, internet phrases and acronyms so you can ‘get down with the kids’. 

Term

Meaning

AF

Acronym for ‘as f**k’, usually used to heighten or exclaim something e.g. “that exam was hard af”

Awks

Abbreviation for ‘awkward’

Bae

Abbreviation for ‘before anyone else’, usually used to refer to one’s girlfriend/boyfriend/partner

Basic

Means something simple or mainstream e.g. white shirts or Starbucks coffee 

BRB

Acronym for ‘be right back’

BTW

Acronym for ‘by the way’

DM

Acronym for ‘direct message’

Extra

An adjective to describe when someone is behaving dramatically or over the top e.g. “they are being so extra right now”

Fam

Shortened version of ‘family’, but often used by someone when referring to their closest friends

Fire

An adjective similar to ‘attractive’, complimentary of someone’s appearance e.g. “they are looking fire today”

OR

A positive adjective to describe something good or cool-looking e.g. “that design looks fire”

FOMO

Acronym for ‘fear of missing out’

GOAT

An acronym that stands for ‘greatest of all time’

G2G / GTG

An acronym for ‘got to go’

Hella

Often used for emphasis instead of ‘really’ or ‘extremely’

High key

Substitution for something you want to express with a lot of emotion e.g. “I highkey agree” or “I am highkey panicking”

IDK

Acronym for ‘I don’t know’

IIRC

Acronym for ‘if I remember correctly’

IMO

Acronym for ‘in my opinion’

IRL

Acronym for ‘in real life’

K / KK / kk

Means ‘ok’ / ‘okay’

Lit

An adjective to describe something cool or fun e.g. that concert was lit

LMK

Acronym for ‘let me know’

LOL

Acronym for ‘laugh out loud’

Lowkey 

Antonym of ‘high key’; more subtle in its use / milder emotion attached to what is being said; a version of ‘kind of’ e.g. “I low key think you’re being unfair”

Mood

Means ‘same’ or ‘relatable’

NM

Acronym for ‘never mind’

NSFW

Acronym for ‘not safe for work’

OG

Acronym initially for ‘original gangster’ but now generally used to simply mean ‘original’

OTP

Acronym for ‘one true pairing’, a relationship you support/aspire towards

RN

Acronym for ‘right now’

RT

Acronym used on social media to mean ‘retweet’

Savage

Describes someone who is saying exactly what they are thinking; without filter; sometimes rude or mean

Salty

Used to describe someone being bitter about something

Shade

When you disrespect someone indirectly, you are ‘throwing shade’ or ‘being shady’

Ship / Shipping

Soulmates

Shook

Adjective meaning ‘shocked’ or ‘surprised’ e.g. she was shook that they all found out

Slay

Means you’re doing something well, or look good

SMH

Acronym for ‘shake my head’, expressing disappointment 

Stan

Means ‘support’ or ‘worship’ e.g. “We stan Beyonce’

TBH

An acronym for ‘to be honest’

TBF

An acronym for ‘to be fair’

Tea

Means ‘gossip’ e.g. “that’s the tea”

TL;DR

An acronym for ‘Too long; didn’t read’

Totes

Abbreviation for ‘totally’

Vibes / Vibey

Means ‘the right atmosphere or mood’ e.g. “this music is really vibey / it’s got all the right vibes”

Woke

If someone is woke, it means they are aware of the controversy in the world

WTF

Acronym for ‘what the f**k’

Yas

Enthusiastic way to say ‘yes’

Yeet

Means to throw something at high speed

Yolo

Acronym for ‘you only live once’

And that’s our list! Don’t forget to bookmark and to share it with friends who might also find it useful. If you want to embarrass your kids and start sending them some slang-filled messages, why not take a look at Asda Mobile’s bundles for unlimited texts?

For more parent technology guides, check out our posts on parental control software and sanity-saving apps for parents.  

No contracts, no limits

With no contract you have the freedom to flex your usage whenever you need to.

Powered by Vodafone

Powered by Vodafone with up to 99% UK population coverage.

Cap your spend

Put a limit on how much you spend every month so you don't need to worry about getting a big bill.

Very pleased that I am not bombarded with adverts unlike other networks. Keep up the good work.

Jeff, Stockport

Lovely to speak to someone who was so friendly and he was easy to understand as he did not speak to quickly.

Myra, Retford

Very nice experience for a novice 74 year old.

Barry, Northampton

Excellent service, extremely prompt reply and an incredibly helpful and friendly colleague, thanks.

Gerry, Fareham